The neuroinflammatory role of Schwann cells in disease
Faculty of Pharmaceutical, Biomedical and Veterinary Sciences . Biomedical Sciences
San Diego, Calif.
Neurobiology of disease. - San Diego, Calif.
, p. 95-103
University of Antwerp
Peripheral neuropathies are associated with a variety of clinical symptoms ranging from motor and sensory symptoms to autonomic dysfunction. The primary disease causes for peripheral nerve disorders are also very heterogeneous, including genetic causes, inflammation mediated damage and physical trauma. A common theme in these neuropathies is the important contribution of the immune system; leading either to a deterioration or an amelioration of the disease. Immune responses are typically mediated by immune cells such as antigen-presenting cells, macrophages or T-cells. However, also non-immune cells such as microglia in the central nervous system or Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system might play a key role in innate and adaptive immune responses. Just like microglia, Schwann cells express a plethora of pattern recognition receptors that allows them to recognize exogenous as well as endogenous danger signals. Upon activation, Schwann cells initiate and regulate local immune responses by presenting antigens and by secreting cytokines and chemokines, which will further attract immune cells to the site of injury. By interacting with immune cells they contribute in shaping immune responses that can lead to inflammatory neuropathies. In hereditary neuropathies, the immune system has also been shown to aggravate the disease phenotype. Besides, a neuroprotective role for the immune system has been recognized that becomes mainly prominent in cases of acute nerve injury. The present review focuses on the recently recognized immune competent role of Schwann cells and its involvement in peripheral neuropathies. (c) 2013 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.